Guides Get Away to Our Cabana
A chance to learn more about the World Association of Girl
Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), share international friendship and
experience the unique culture of Mexico, its customs, traditions
and history. This Centenary adventure to Our Cabaña for Guides and
Senior Section members included a number of trips, including visits
to local towns and a Centenary party.
Read what the girls had to say about this once-in-a-lifetime
Day 1 - The journey
After lots of hugs and groups photos we checked in for what was
to be the start of a very long day.
Luckily, everyone was destined to make the epic
journey; nine hours, two meals, several drinks, wide
array of movies, some snoozing, and a male flight attendant called
Steve ('Oh, Guides, I used to be a Brownie, you know') later we
landed in Mexico City. On landing we were invited into the cock-pit
for a chat with the pilot and many of us wore his hat; even the
ducks got in on the action.
By now we were all exhausted and ready for bed. Unfortunately,
Mexican immigration had other plans. It took two hours to get out
of the airport for no other than reason than long queues and few
We were very glad to safely arrive at Ticalli and thankful for the
warm welcome extended to us by the staff.
7 modes of transport
17 tired Girlguiding members
Day 2 - Day tripping
After a surprisingly early and sweet breakfast we set off for a
sightseeing tour around the city.
Our first stop was the large and extremely ornate cathedral, and
then on to the Palace where we were treated to a personal tour of
the murals depicting the full technicoloured history of Mexico. The
guide was fabulous and worked extremely hard for his fee. He was
full of fascinating information and had it not been for the fact we
were all so hungry and his voice weakening we could have listened
to him for hours. Lunch beckoned and then back on to the bus. We
took a leisurely route around the rest of the city and some of the
group decided it was a great opportunity to make new friends.
Once back at the accommodation, we ate tea and had an early
night, and only the hardcore night owls stayed up playing "Annie
Watch this space for more adventures...
Day 3 - Water fun and move to Our Cabaña
We walked to Capultepek and due to building works we had to go
the long way through crowded street stalls and by the subway and
We were free to choose how to spend out time in Capultepek but
almost all of us went on the lake in pedalos, even the ducks! (Viv
and Ellen took a whistle stop tour of the zoo).
After lunch in a cafe in the park we returned to Ticalli to catch
the bus to Our Cabaña. We received an extremely warm welcome and
after seeing our rooms, playing a few games including pass the
parcel and singing, we all went to bed.
Day 3 - The early bird catches the worm!
Cheryl and Viv both made the early morning stroll to catch
sight of the volcano and were lucky enough to see its puff of white
We then attended the opening ceremony and all chose a secret
We spent the rest of the morning learning about Mexican traditions
and then had free time in the afternoon.
In the evening we were treated to a fairytale and learnt the story
of Our Cabaña. The evening ended secretly and that is all I can say
Day 4 - Money well spent
Today we visited Tepaztlan, a busy marketplace selling lots of
traditional Mexican crafts. We managed to spend lots of money and
finished with ice-cream to cool us down!
After lunch we all took part in a ´Girls Worldwide
We played a game, made a poster, created role-plays and had a
debate that got quite heated.
In the evening we all enjoyed a salsa lesson. Lots of us liked
watching the dancer!
Day 5 - It´s painting, it´s pouring...
Today we went to a community centre for mothers and children
in Vamos. Our job was to help paint the building a peach colour and
give it a new, fresh appearance. Everyone got stuck in and worked
hard to do their bit for the community. We were probably covered in
more paint than the walls.
Whilst there, we all realised that we can sometimes take things for
granted and it made us realise that there are others much worse off
When we got back from Vamos, because everyone was covered in paint
and it was so hot, we all jumped in the swimming pool with our
clothes on to cool down and clean off!
After dinner we all went back to our dorms for some free time
before the campfire when it started raining. All of a sudden it
started pouring down and the thunder and lightning came. We were
all outside dancing in the rain and puddles and screamed every time
the thunder crashed. The lightning was very pretty though!
The campfire was cancelled so we went and sang songs around a
candle and ate yummy s´mores.
Many of us ended the night in a very secretive manner. I can say no
Day 6 - Silver shopping
After breakfast we packed a sandwich and got on the coach. The
journey was about an hour and a half long but we watched movies on
the way. 'High School Musical' failed but we did still manage to
sing along. Nearer the end of the journey we stopped to look at a
view and we all took loads of photos. After that we all got back on
the coach for about another five minutes until we got to the first
silver shop, we went inside and up the stairs into an artificial
mine and had a talk about the silver and had a raffle in Spanish.
We were also given cups of coke - yummy! After the talk we went
downstairs again and lots of us bought stuff which could all
be resized and engraved so made really nice presents. It was all so
We nearly died trying to walk up the really steep hill to a
cathedral at the top where a man with a yellow stick
showed us around and told us about it and the history. He then
set a challenge of who could find a donkey in a picture and Lisa
Some of the group then went on a walk with the man to see some
nice views and the rest of us went to do some more shopping.
When we got to the bottom of the hill we went back into the first
silver shop (Toño) to collect the things that we had bought.
Another movie later ('The Pacifier') we got back to the Cabaña
and had dinner dressed from different countries. While we were
writing this blog entry we could hear karaoke and went to have
Day 6 - fancy dinner and cocktails
Whilst the girls enjoyed karaoke the adults got to escape to
Las Mañanitas, a beautiful and lavish restaurant in
We enjoyed a drink in the garden with peacocks roaming free and
then sat under shelter for a fabulous meal with wonderful
An evening to never forget.
Day 7 - International festival and Cuernavaca
We had colours this morning and presented the flags of all the
countries residing at Our Cabaña.
International festival next so we got to see all the presented
tables with badges, swaps, postcards, flags, T-shirts and lots of
Argentinean tea - not one to try again for all but Fiona.
We then all took it in turns to present our international display
including from Girlguiding 'Oranges and Lemons', 'Amazing Grace',
'Red Riding Hood' in Welsh (and full costume), 'It's a Long Way to
Tipperary' and 'Pack Up Your Troubles..' Other shows featured
dance, songs, games, plays and tennis tricks.
After lunch we went into Cuernavaca for shopping, sightseeing and a
special challenge, which took us around the town. After dinner we
had a peace ceremony which really opened our eyes to the number of
children forced to participate in wars around the globe. Then off
to bed after some free time in our dormitory.
Thought for the day - Friendship is like
peeing your pants; everyone can see it but only you can feel the
warm sensation it brings.
After colours we pitched our tents ready for the children from
Vamos to come to Our Cabaña. Girlguiding members entertained the
children by singing 'Head, Shoulders...' ´en Español', 'The Hokey
Cokey' and 'Oranges and Lemons'. After lunch with the children we
all had free play and then we had to say goodbye.
We then got some free time until after dinner when we had an
activity called '100 years of friendship'. For this we had to
transport beads with a spoon whilst undertaking different
challenges such as holding bean-bags under our chins, arms and on
top of our heads.
It was our last day at Our Cabana and none of us
really wanted to leave. We all took our suitcases to the top part
of our Cabaña then went for breakfast. Today we went on the bus to
the Aztec pyrimids, where we got a chance to climb some of them. We
learn that the Aztec played a ball game where they had to pass
a ball through small hoops, high up without using their hands.
Anyone who scored a goal was sacrificed to the Gods.
We had a free afternoon where some people went into the pool or
finished off their crafts. A great chance to start packing ready
Then there was the fiesta which everyone really enjoyed. Everyone
made an effort and dressed up. We got the chance to try traditional
Mexician food. There where really cool small terricota pots
with special designs on them. Then we had a Benhare band play for
us and we did lots of dancing and played games. Then there was
the closing ceromeny where certificates were given out. It was a
chance for us to find out our secret friend.
Day 10 - Leaving Our
This morning everyone was up bright and early to pack our
suitcases, take final photos, do last-minute shopping, and say our
goodbyes to Our Cabaña. We were all sad to leave this incredible
place, and I`m sure many of us have plans to return at some point
in the future.
Our coach left at 9am and took us, along with the Guides from Peru,
back to Ticalli, the Guide house in Mexico City where we stayed
when we first arrived in Mexico. We had lunch, then the afternoon
was ours to enjoy as we pleased and to relax, which people did by
watching a film, playing cards, reading books, or having a siesta
in true Mexican style.
In the evening, we all got together to go for a meal. We also
invited along Emma, a volunteer from Our Cabaña who was staying at
Ticalli for one night before returning to her home country of
Scotland. All 18 of us trooped out and had a nice meal at a
restaurant, before making a mad dash back in the rain - thank
goodness we had all taken our waterproofs like the good Guides we
are! Having got back and put various items of clothing in the
boiler room to dry, we all went to bed, getting some sleep to
prepare for our last full day in Mexico.
Day 11 - Last full day in Mexico!
We were all up bright and early for breakfast (except Chloe,
Annie, Katherine and Carona). After much dicussion we all
decided to go on a tour of the floating islands in Xochimilco. It
was very fun getting to see all of the other pretty coloured boats.
It was interesting to see everyone trying to get to boats to sell
things. We even saw some Mariachi bands playing to the boats.
When we arrived home we had lunch and then everyone except Chloe
and Annie went to the park to go to museums,markets, the zoo and
the pedalos. Annie and Chloe watched films while they were
Some of the groups came back with dinner but others went out in
groups to Subway, baguette shops and a pizza shop. Then afterwards,
some of us went to Oxo to buy bisicuits.
Then the adults went for a Chinese and everyone started packing our
bags ready for the flight tomorrow.